I used to picture college as a bunch of all nighters of studying, followed by impossible exams, followed by drunken parties. Now that I’m here, I realize how wrong I was. A better description of college can be summed up in one word: opportunity. Each class is an opportunity to prove yourself whether it be by your intelligence or work ethic. Coming to campus where you know absolutely nobody is an opportunity to practice your social skills and meet some of the most influential people you will have in your entire life. Extracurricular activities like student organizations present opportunities to flex your leadership skills and become a part of something bigger than yourself. I’ve already experienced several of these opportunities, but there’s one opportunity in college that I have yet to experience. The opportunity that I’m about to embark on is studying abroad.
In fifty days, I’ll be siting in an airport anxiously awaiting my departure for San Jose, Costa Rica. Since I’m a Spanish and biology double major, I wasn’t sure if I would have enough time in my schedule to study abroad, but after speaking with many other students who have already studied abroad, I knew that this was an opportunity that I simply couldn’t miss out on. I knew that if I didn’t study abroad, I would regret it and always wonder what it would have been like. What memories did I miss out on? Who could I have met? How much better would my Spanish be? So after applying for a six-week summer program in Costa Rica and getting accepted, I couldn’t be any more ecstatic.
Even though fifty days seems like a long time to some, I have already been keeping busy with pre-departure preparations such as getting my passport renewed, getting a few travel vaccinations, and trying to calm my anxious mother. Yes, I’m extremely excited and nervous as well, but there’s no equivalent to the feeling of “sending your baby off to a foreign country all by herself!” I guess it’s normal for parents to be protective, especially since being in a different country for a month and a half by myself will be a huge step of independence.